Listen to Nancy answer the question on Moody Radio with Kelli and Steve

The Christian faith requires that all believe that Jesus is God! He proved it by His resurrection from the dead. All true Christians embrace this truth. This gospel is for all who believe, including Jews and gentiles. God desires that no one perish, but all have eternal life in Heaven forever!

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For l delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

God’s invitation to believe in Jesus the Messiah, Savior, extends to all people regardless of their sex, ethnicity, or religious upbringing. Jesus was a Jew. The Jews were the primary followers of Jesus and writers of the New Testament. The Jews, who made up the first church, numbered around 3,000. To this day, many Jews are accepting Jesus as their Savior, as are many gentiles. When a Jew becomes a Christian, many identify as being a Messianic Jews because their faith is a blend of the Jewish traditions and the Christian faith. The term messianic is related to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. They believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that through their faith in His death and resurrection, they are saved from the penalty of their sin and will live forever in peace with God in Heaven. 

Unlike gentile believers, most Messianic Jews also keep Jewish culture, some traditions, and fundamental principles of Judaism. Their blend of these things makes them as diverse as many denominations within the Christian faith. They no longer believe that following the commandments or observing the Jewish Holy Days will save them. 

“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly, no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them” (Galatians 3:10-12).

The core beliefs of Messianic Jews include believing in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. Emphasis is on the history of the Jewish nation, God’s covenant with Abraham, and the commandments that God gave to Moses. Messianic Jewish practices include baptism by immersion. They also believe in baptism by immersion to celebrate the believer’s acceptance and confession of their faith in Jesus the Messiah. 

In keeping with the Abrahamic covenant, Genesis 17, all Jewish believers have to be circumcised.  Many Messianic Jews also follow the traditions of observing the Sabbath on Friday night through Saturday night because of the commandment that God gave to Moses to keep the sabbath holy. 

Messianic groups of believers vary significantly from group to group. Some communities are very liberal and loosely adhere to Jewish law while, on the other end of the spectrum, some groups are cult-like in their control of others by invoking old Jewish mandates. This type of congregation is an extreme form of Messianic Judaism that can become unhealthy for spiritual growth and lead to extreme pride in the way they judge other churches and Messianic congregations that do not agree with them.

How then might a Christian approach their Jewish friends about Jesus the Messiah? Your main goal initially should not be to persuade your Jewish friend that Jesus is the Messiah. Your conversation is a means to an end, and that end is that they must see that they cannot ever keep God’s Law perfectly. It is not good enough for them to do their best; God requires perfection. Because of this fact, your goal is to get your friend to the Mosesint where they know that God will not overlook their failures or forgive them based on their mitzvot (good deeds). Show them that God requires the shedding of blood to forgive sin (Leviticus 17:11; cf. 16:15-17, 27, 30), which was why the Messiah (Jesus) came to earth 2,000 years ago. (Dare to Share Ministries)

An excellent book on this topic is Nabeel Qureshi’s book, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity.”